Sci Fi Sunday
How much could you accomplish if you never had to sleep? Beggars in Spain takes place during a brave new era of genetic engineering, where wealthy parents can ask for everything from beauty to intelligence to social skills for their children. A select few also ask for one thing more — the ability to stay awake forever. Leisha Camden was one of those genetically modified to require no sleep. Her normal twin Alice is the control. From the beginning, the Sleepless form one of humanity’s greatest scientific experiments. They are viewed with curiosity, resentment, and eventually animosity as they produce a generation of prodigies and grow to encompass much of the world’s wealth. As they are increasingly subject to abuse, paranoia and persecution, they eventually seclude themselves off-planet. The book captures brilliantly how society treats those who are “Other” and how the world the Sleepless create for themselves becomes both a refuge from that society and a reflection of it. Originally published in the 90s, this book is even more timely now for its exploration of humans’ need for well-defined social groups and the penalties meted out to those who don’t, won’t or can’t fit in. This is the first book in a trilogy, but it stands alone as a story line. It is still currently in print, also available on Kindle.